Explore London’s vintage clothing hunting grounds

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From north to south, east to west, London’s vintage scene knows no borders. From great British charity shops to hidden underground vintage gems, Londoners have plenty of vintage hunting grounds to choose from.

The cosmopolitan city known for its creativity and bustling shopping scene boasts an impressive sartorial landscape, with fashion alumni like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, not to mention world-class institutions like Central St. Martins and London College of Fashion, it So it’s no wonder that when it comes to finding a mix of old and new vintage, the teeming fashion hub will spoil you rotten.

We use clothes to build our identities and show who we really are. In a city as expensive as London, young city dwellers turn to the havens of peace of vintage shops to expand their wardrobe and showcase their quirky flair and creativity. Physically rummaging through shelves and shelves is an exhilarating experience, with the feeling of discovering an affordable diamond in the fulfilling rust, to say the least.

In the mid-1980s London’s independent retail fashion scene plunged and never fully recovered, which gave rise to more and more vintage stores, particularly in the south and east from London. With clothes ranging from the 1930s to the 2000s, stylish and spunky suburban Londoners are no strangers to mixing and matching items from all eras and movements. Add to that British TV shows like I May Destroy You, Peaky Blinders and Crashing which all offer endless vintage-inspired looks from different decades. With the rise of musical and cultural movements like Britpop and Grunge in the early 90s, rugged vintage clothing became increasingly sought after, and that’s where acquired brands like Woolrich came in.

After nearly 200 years in the game, it’s fair to say that the American brand has released some seriously sick pieces. All about authenticity, good design and finding beauty in simplicity, Woolrich has secured its position as a clothing brand that can stand the test of time – elevating it to vintage status in the past. , the present and the future. Woolrich pieces can be found almost anywhere with its unbridled quality shining through. As a brand that prides itself on its detailed and technical construction, you can guarantee that any Woolrich piece you own will serve you well for years to come.

We took a trip with London-born Miquita Oliver and culture geek Sam Trotman to check out some of the best places to get your hands on some of the hottest Woolrich pieces in town. Trotman is an expert in his field, with his Samutaro Instagram account amassing over 128,000 dedicated followers. Oliver has hosted a host of television and radio shows throughout his career, known throughout Britain for his knowledge of contemporary culture. Watch them both in the video below exploring vintage London hotspots and finding all-time classic Woolrich clothing.

The Duke’s Wardrobe

14 Ingestre Pl, London W1F 0JQ

Duke’s Cupboard, located in the heart of Westminster, mainly offers handpicked designer vintage and sportswear pieces from around the world. Run by Milo Harley and his business partner Ned Membery, Duke’s Cupboard began as a market stall on Berwick Street in Soho in 2012. “We also traded in Portobello Market until our first store opened. in 2017,” says Harley. “At Duke’s we specialize in a mix of rare and unique vintage pieces, from a variety of brands and also some interesting off-brand pieces. As far as stock supply goes, we try to do about five or six buying trips. a year in America and other parts of Europe to unearth the good bits.”

A definite pro when it comes to vintage stores and clothing is the moral and environmental aspect of it. “People are more aware than ever of how they shop today as well as the impact buying clothes has on our planet. We believe vintage shopping empowers people to shop sustainably and responsibly. “, explains Harley.

Regarding one of her all-time favorite purchases, Harley explains how “a few years ago on a shopping trip to Italy, I found a lovely Woolrich parka that I kept for myself and I’ve had a few good winters! This is probably my favorite Woolrich piece I’ve ever owned.”

Hunky-dory

226 Brick Ln, London E1 6SA

Located on Brick Lane in East London you will find Hunky Dory. Run by Ian Bodenham and Ian Johns (sometimes called the Ians), Hunky Dory has been sourcing and selling vintage clothing since the mid-80s. “We opened our first store in Greenwich in 1990 called The Observatory,” they explain , “but we sold pieces all over London, first in Greenwich, then in Covent Garden and Portobello Market.”

Bodenham and Johns mainly sold items from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, as they were plentiful and inexpensive at the time. “We started going to the States to find denim, workwear plaids and flannels from brands like Woolrich, which were huge in the back of the grunge. 70s styles became more and more most popular in the early 90s, with scenes like Rare Groove and Acid Jazz and many bands such as Brand New Heavies and Young Disciples being our customers.”

The store, whose name is a nod to one of the Ians’ greatest inspirations, David Bowie, still stocks many of the same types of items today as it did then. “Some things never go out of style, like a pea coat or a raincoat. There are always fashions and particularly trendy items, but the core remains unchanged and classic,” they explain. “Over the decades, we have built strong and lasting relationships with various suppliers around the world, as different countries have their own unique styles, such as French workwear, casual and utilitarian clothing from the United States or dressier styles from Italy, France and the UK, so we cover a lot of bases in a small store!”

“Vintage is perhaps even more relevant now than it was over 40 years ago when we started, with the element of recycling being a big concern, so more people are more appreciative of investing in clothes that can be worn for years, so we go back to timeless, iconic styles with a utilitarian heritage in their design, such as Woolrich – ever relevant, endlessly versatile and embraced by successive generations like rockers, beatniks, grungers and hip hop.”

Asked about his favorite Woolrich piece, Bodenham explains how it was a purchase in 1991 that he can’t forget. “I acquired a mackinaw with a fleece Sherpa collar from an Army and Navy store in New York on our first trip there in 1991. It spoke to me and I couldn’t get over it. I guess that would be my motto for vintage shopping, ideally a personal connection to a piece, fit is important but this can vary from style to style, oversize is (literally) huge now, and if you can, consider spending a little more – it’s something with longevity – check the condition, although in some cases a little wear can add character!”

In collaboration with Hunky Dory and Duke’s Cupboard, Woolrich offers five signature vintage pieces. This giveaway will take place on Highsnobiety’s social media channels, so stay tuned. Visit the Woolrich site for more information.

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